No final mental block for Sindhu: Padukone

Badminton player Prakash Padukone strongly defended PV Sindhu in the face criticism for her failures in finals. PTI File Photo

PV Sindhu's defeat in the World Championships finals has added to the growing concerns about her performance in the finals of a tournament. But Prakash Padukone does not view it this way.

The legendary Indian shuttler dismissed the notion that the talented youngster has developed a mental block and believed she would win the title in the coming years.

Sindhu's straight games defeat to Carolina Marin in the World Championships final was second successive in the event. Besides, it was her fourth successive runner-up finish this year. Padukone, however, found it creditable that the 23-year-old made it to her second successive Worlds' final.

"It is quite creditable that she reached the final again. The competition is very tough. She should aim for the gold next time. She beat two Japanese players (Nozomi Okuhara and Akane Yamaguchi) against whom she normally loses. Unfortunate that she could not do the same in the final," Padukone said on the sidelines of PNB Metlife Junior Badminton Championship on Tuesday.

“She is still young, she will definitely win in near future. She is already one of the greatest players from India. We should not put too much pressure on her when she is doing well. She is world number three. The focus should be on how we can make her win rather than why she is losing the final again and again."

With several talented players coming from the stables of Pullela Gopichand Badminton Academy in Hyderabad, Padukone was appreciative of its contribution to Indian badminton.

"Gopi is doing a good job. The academy is doing a fantastic job. The current set-up is giving results and doesn't need to change. However, Gopi needs somebody with him to assist. There are so many good players. For one coach to take care of so many players, it would be difficult," he said.

The cramped schedule of the year has provided little window between the World Championships and the Asian Games. Padukone acknowledged the challenge awaiting the Indians.

“It is going to be tough as most of the top badminton playing nations are in Asia,” he said.

“It’s also happening so close to the World Championship so it’s difficult for any player to prepare for two such important events in such a short time. It will be tough for the Indian players to win a medal but it won’t be impossible; it will depend on how the players peak during that week.”

Padukone said it was time the Indian players stepped it up. “Most of the leading Indian players have beaten most of the world's top players in some tournament or the other. We just need to click in important events. Last five years, we have been at the top."

 

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No final mental block for Sindhu: Padukone

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